The first leg of our Italy trip led us from Milan, where we arrived by plane and rented a car, to a small town on the western shore of Lake Garda called Gargnano. After having been awake for 24 hours at this point, I could not have driven much further. We enjoyed the views, had a big lunch, and hit the sack in our comfy room at the Lefay Resort. The Lefay Resort is a beautiful, modern spa resort opened in 2008 that is set high up the hill from the quaint town of Gargnano. Gargnano was a great stop-over and I am vowing to return one day, if only to see Villa Feltrinelli, which is only open April through October. Villa Feltrinelli was Mussolini’s last home, and after a $30 million dollar remodel is a 20-room hotel. Maybe I would split my time between Lefay and Villa Feltrinelli…
|Sunset at the Lefay Resort|
Fully rested the next day, we were ready for the 3-hour drive to San Cassiano in the Alta Badia. The drive was stunning on a crisp, blue Italian spring day.
|Gargnano, and our destination, the mountains, in the background|
|The church of San Martino, Gargnano|
Just north of Lake Garda lies the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region. Due to the fact that it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1919, you will find many Germanic grape varieties, such as Gewürztraminer and Riesling, as well as some of Italy’s most famous sparkling wines and red varietals.
|Driving north into the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region|
|More from Trentino-Atlo Adige|
|There are over 400 castles in the region|
Gaining altitude in the mountains, we started to see more Austrian influences in the architecture. As part of the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain of 1919, at the close of the First World War, Italy annexed Trentino-Alto Adige (also known as South Tyrol), which, according to a census in 1910, showed that 92% of inhabitants were German speakers. The area is an interesting mix of Austrian and Italian influences, and I ended up using a lot of my college German (how I dusted off those cobwebs, I will never know!).
|Coming up to the first of the ski villages|
|Our introduction to the Dolomiti, the Dolomite mountain range|
|Arriving in Alta Badia, an area encompassing 1,200 km of ski trails|
We chose a charming abode for our week-long stay called the Lagaciò Mountain Residence. Built in 2009 from locally sourced materials such as pine, spruce and larch, the Lagaciò has 29 apartments, each spacious and tastefully appointed.
|The Ammonite Suite comfortably accommodated five people|
|There was a small kitchen with all the modern amenities|
|A sauna was located in the guest bathroom|
|Purified drinking water from a spout|
|A tea bar should that capture your fancy|
|Good night spelled in the local language, Ladin|
|San Cassiano at sunset|
Bëgnodii and sweet dreams! Stick around for some good eats in the next few posts!